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Cool Boys from Kid Lit

Sunday Afternoon Visits: July 16th

My round-up won't be quite as extensive as last week's, because Mheir and I have a picnic to go to this afternoon, here in sunny California. But here are a few things that caught my eye this weekend.

  • Tasha at Kids Lit links to and comments on a news article about summer reading programs at the Lodi, CA public library. The idea behind the Lodi program is to make sure "teenagers don't lose their connection to the world of literature." The article mentions that educations are finding college students less prepared when it comes to reading, especially in reference to reading the classics. Tasha puts the responsibility for reading more on the shoulders of the teens themselves, concluding "READ! Just READ!". I think that if kids read more in general, they'll be more likely to end up reading the classics, as well as popular fiction, and won't be so intimidated by the classics. Tasha also links to an interesting School Library Journal about the disappearance of true middle grade novels.
  • There's a nice post this week on PlanetEsme about fantasy novels that include a bridge to the real world (as opposed to high fantasy stories that take place entirely in another world). Esme includes several book suggestions for this sub-genre, and readers have suggested others in the comments. I particularly enjoyed this post because this is the sort of fantasy that I prefer, too.
  • Cynthia Lord, author of RULES, is busy with a project right now, so she's posting some summer reruns on her site. As a relatively new reader, I'm finding them entertaining. Did you know that her daughter included some of Cindy's book characters on a family tree for school? She (the daughter) said "They feel like family." I think that's neat.
  • The Thinking Mother, Christine, has a post about the advantages of playing board games with your kids, as compared with letting your kids play video games all the time. I know that I loved board games and card games when I was a kid, and still do. I had a great time playing cards with friends on my recent vacation. Overall, I think that Christine makes some excellent points!
  • Last week I mentioned how much I was looking forward to the release of New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer, the sequel to Twilight. Well, I just learned from Stephanie Ford's Children's Literature Book Club that the first chapter of New Moon is now available for download from Stephenie Meyer's website. Great stuff, but frustrating, too, because I really want to read the rest. Now!
  • Jennifer at Snapshot has an interesting post about her blog self vs. her real self, and ways that people have told her that they differ from one another. Which, naturally, made me wonder about myself. Do I come across differently on the blog than I do in real life? I don't think so, but of course I wouldn't really be able to see it. Perhaps some friends who know me in person will comment.
  • There's a helpful post at A Readable Feast about Parent and Child Book Clubs. As an advocate of parents reading what their children read, I simply had to bring it to your attention. Anne-Marie also writes about Inc. Magazine's Best Lemonade Stand in America contest. You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.
  • Anne at BookBuds offers a bit of a rant regarding "value added" books that come with dangling charms or puzzles or other non-book items attached. She asks instead for a book "whose charms are in its pages and not dangling from its spine." Seems reasonable to me.
  • Buried in the Slush Pile (a new to me blog recommended by Kelly at Big A little a) asks readers for recommendations of good read-aloud picture books, after having an unsatisfactory experience reading aloud classic picture books to a group of toddlers. There are some good suggestions i the comments. 
  • I've been pretty much avoiding the discussion about J.K. Rowling's interview, and the speculation of whether Harry Potter will or will not die in the final book, mostly because it came up when I was on vacation. But I did enjoy this post about it at Oz and Ends. J. L. Bell takes a firm stance that Harry, Hermione, and Ron will not die in the book, and explores why not. As for my own opinion, well, part of me thinks that it would a fitting dramatic end, but most of me would be devastated. What I really want is for Harry to marry Ginny, thus becoming part of the Weasley family, which is, let's face it, what he's wanted all along.

Happy Reading!